With the holidays fast approaching, the This Is Us stars are spreading some holiday cheer!
The cast is knee-deep on filming the NBC freshman hit’s 10th episode (directed by Helen Hunt!), which will see the Pearson family celebrating Christmas, and the stars were in a giving mood when ET got the scoop on the rest of the season.
In the upcoming Thanksgiving episode, airing Nov. 22, the extended Pearson clan (minus Jack, R.I.P.) will get together in the present for their annual large-scale family reunion.
“Thanksgiving is Randall’s holiday and perhaps we all gather at his house to celebrate,” Mandy Moore, who plays Rebecca, told ET at NBC and Vanity Fair’s fall TV party on Wednesday.
Sterling K. Brown, who plays Rebecca’s son, Randall, added that the reunion will be “a lot of fun” and offered a hint as to why Thanksgiving is his character’s favorite day of the year.
“He lives for Thanksgiving, year in and year out,” Brown teased. “And it’s because of something in their past as a family that made Thanksgiving this incredibly special moment.”
As most family get-togethers go, however, the chances of it going off without a hitch are slim to none. “Some things come bubbling up to the surface and not everything goes as planned,” he hinted.
Milo Ventimiglia, who portrays Jack, revealed that Thanksgiving is merely a lead-up to “a bigger thing called Christmas.” “We’re going to see how the Pearsons celebrate it in a couple different decades,” he said.
For more on what you can expect from the season, check out what the stars revealed to ET:
Getting Answers to Jack’s Death. After it was revealed that Jack is dead in the present day, how and when he died became the new mysteries for viewers to solve. Moore assured that answers will come eventually, but not as quickly as fans would like. “I wouldn’t wait with bated breath, episode by episode, like what giant revelation is going to be revealed in this episode,” she said. “I think some episodes, there will be bigger pieces of information that sort of unfold and then smaller things that still resonate and are somewhat satisfying.”
Rebecca’s Strained Relationships With Her Kids. In the latest episode, Kate reveals that her present-day relationship with her mom is nonexistent. Chris Sullivan, who plays Kate’s beau, Toby, revealed that “more and more vulnerabilities, more and more insecurities” surface. Meanwhile, Kevin’s relationship with Rebecca may be just as contentious, according to Justin Hartley. “I think it’s also strained a bit,” he hinted. “There was a sibling rivalry between Randall and Kevin and he kind of resented the relationship she had with Randall and how much time he got, how much attention he got.” Said Brown of Randall and Kevin’s estrangement: “Sometimes things are gravy and sometimes not so much. And you get to see a family working out their history, working out their past and coming to some kind of understanding.”
Reality of Rebecca and Miguel’s Romance. It was a shock to the heart when the door opened and there stood Rebecca with Jack’s best friend, Miguel. Asked how Jack would think of the situation, Ventimiglia sort of skirted the question. “I don’t think Jack feels,” he deadpanned, jokingly alluding to his character’s death in the distant past. “He’s got no heart or fingers or toes at that point.” On a personal level, Ventimiglia praised co-star Jon Huertas, who plays Miguel, before offering this nugget: “There is a discovery of what happened between Jack and Rebecca,” he said, noting she still wears the moon necklace. “Where were Jack and Rebecca at the end of Jack’s life?”
The Theory Behind Randall’s Home. Fans theorized at the end of the latest episode that Jack didn’t end up finishing the home he was planning to build for the Big Three and that it was Randall who successfully built it and is now living in the home. “It's a beautiful home [but in reality] it's a cold soundstage,” Ventimiglia said with a glint in his eye, hinting that the theory may be accurate. “I think Jack liked it a little bit warmer but he's used to it because he's from Pittsburgh. I don't know, stay tuned, to be discovered!”
More Singing for Mandy Moore. Fans got several glorious glimpses of Moore taking the mic on This Is Us, and the 32-year-old actress revealed every time she gets to sing is “extra icing on the cake.” “It’s activated that little piece inside of me that’s missed music,” Moore admitted, adding Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate, has some impressive pipes as well: “She’s on another planet.” Moore revealed that there will “definitely” be more singing on the show (and “would love” a duet with Metz), but cautioned it’ll be “in fits and spurts.”
“TV’s Dad of the Year” Praise. Though it’s only six episodes into its run, the character of Jack has already hit a chord with viewers, with many even dubbing him a great TV dad. “That makes me want to cry,” Ventimiglia said. “I want to reach out and I want to hug everyone and be like, ‘OK, tell me how I can help. Tell me how I can help inspire, protect -- whatever!’ I think there is a very good thing happening with our show and with network television where we get to show kindness and supportive family structures again.”
This Is Us returns Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.